Stina Backer: Tighten entry rules – and strangle Britain

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The Independent Online

I am one of those one in nine who was not born in this country but who proudly call it my home. Eight years ago, I decided to leave my family and friends in Sweden to move to Britain, and I am not planning on going back, because I love it here. British people are usually puzzled by my decision to leave Sweden, which they often refer to as a utopia where "everything works according to plan". But as much as I love my country of birth, it is not the country I want to make my home; Britain is.

For all its imperfections, Britain is – in my view – the most exciting country in the world. It is in constant metamorphosis, somehow managing to merge tradition with modernity, and it constantly tries to redefine itself. The result is what I can only describe as a "buzz", one which simply doesn't exist in any other country.

Some economic migrants come here to seize opportunities they don't have in their home countries and end up finding a home here. Others, like myself, come searching for a home and end up realising that Britain, above all other countries, offers endless opportunities for those willing to work hard for it.

The hypocritical anti-immigration brigade might not want to kick out my northern European bum as quickly as they want to boot out the Polish barmaids and builders or the Pakistani delivery men, but the fact is that my job could also be done by a home-grown individual.

But as economic migrants come with different-sized wallets and in different colours, religions and nationalities, it would be a tragedy if this country, whose cultural and economic wealth largely stem from the influx of people throughout centuries, would tighten its immigration rules so that those who might not offer much in terms of savings and academia but who offer much more in innovation and hard work would not be allowed to enter.